Cedar Fair has denied allegations of negligence in a lawsuit brought by the woman who was seriously injured by the Top Thrill Dragster roller coaster at Cedar Point in August 2021.
The suit, filed in July by victim Rachel Hawes of of Swartz Creek, Michigan, said that a piece of metal that flew off the coaster caused a traumatic brain injury and left her “permanently disabled” and “no longer able to work.”
She asked the Erie County, Ohio court to find Cedar Point and the roller coaster’s manufacturer, Intamin, to be held financially responsible for at least $3.2 million in lost future income and medical assistance. (An Ohio government report released in 2022 cleared Cedar Point of wrongdoing in the leadup to the accident.)
The August response from Cedar Fai denied Hawes’ allegations about negligence and asked for the suit to either be tossed out or proceed to a jury trial. Among the defenses posed by Cedar Fair in the response were claiming that Hawes “assumed the risk of any injuries or other damages allegedly suffered by her” and that the “damages, if any, were proximately caused by intervening and superseding acts or omissions of persons or entities” other than Cedar Fair.
Intamin has been granted until Sept. 13 to respond to the lawsuit.
The legal proceedings come as Cedar Point hypes the replacement for Top Thrill Dragster, which has not operated since the August 2021 accident. Its successor, Top Thrill 2, will add a 420-foot-tall spike and change the coaster into a multi-launch experience when it opens next year. The redo is being done by Italian amusement company Zamperla rather than Intamin.